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Former Boston Grand Prix CFO arrested for alleged tax and fraud scheme

Grand Prix of Boston CFO John Casey.
Grand Prix of Boston CFO John Casey.Paul Marotta/Getty Images/file

The former chief financial officer of the ill-fated Boston Grand Prix race, which was abruptly canceled in 2016 over what he called an “untenable” relationship with city officials, was arrested Tuesday following his indictment on charges alleging he failed to report income he received as a race executive and also plotted to defraud “equipment and small business financing companies," federal prosecutors said.

In a statement, US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office said John F. Casey, 56, of Ipswich, was arrested Tuesday morning and will make an initial appearance at 3:30 p.m. in federal court in Boston on eight counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, three counts of money laundering, and three counts of filing false tax returns.

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A grand jury indicted Casey on Sept. 23, records show.

Casey, prosecutors said, in 2015 became chief financial officer of Boston Grand Prix, which had planned to host an IndyCar race in the Seaport in September 2016 before the event was scrapped in April of that year. The Grand Prix group made payments to or on behalf of Casey totaling $308,292 in 2015 and $601,073 in 2016, which he allegedly “failed to include in the gross income he claimed on his personal tax returns for those years,” the statement said.

In addition, authorities said, Casey owned a Peabody ice rink between October 2013 and June 1, 2016. Between October 2014 and October 2016, prosecutors allege, Casey secured over $743,000 in funds from equipment financing companies, “purportedly” to buy equipment for the ice rink. And in August 2016, the statement said, he allegedly obtained over $145,000 in small business loans for the rink business, even though he had sold it more than two months earlier.

“In order to secure the financing, Casey allegedly submitted materially false documents and information, including fake invoices for the equipment, bank records purporting to show deposits into Casey’s accounts related to the Peabody rink, falsely inflated personal and corporate tax returns, and personal financial statements falsely claiming ownership and value of various assets,” the statement said.

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He also allegedly “submitted a fake Deed of Sale containing a forged signature in support of one of his loan applications," the statement said, and companies relying on those misrepresentations loaned him cash “in amounts and on terms they otherwise would not have made. Most of the funds provided by the victim companies were never repaid.”

Casey, prosecutors said, also is charged with allegedly laundering funds from of his fraud, and with failing to include the income from the alleged scheme on his 2014, 2015, and 2016 tax returns.

A lawyer listed for Casey in court records didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment Tuesday.

"The relationship between us and the city is not working,” Casey told the Globe in April 2016 when the race was scrapped. “The relationship is untenable.”

The city’s inaugural IndyCar race had been scheduled for Labor Day weekend 2016, on a 2.2-mile temporary street course around the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Promoters in May 2015 signed an agreement with Mayor Martin J. Walsh to hold the race in 2016, then annually for up to four more years.

Casey said at the time of the cancellation that city officials made relentless and unrealistic demands on the promoters that eventually just became too much to bear.

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“I’m writing a book about this whole process,” he said in 2016. “It’s so ridiculous, it’s hysterical.”

Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.